Monday, October 29, 2012

Cleaning your carpets!

I live in an apartment. Recently, it was damaged, and we are moving into a temporary place while they remodel this one. While cleaning the temp place, I noticed the carpets are stiff and matted. So stiff, that my vacuum wouldn't even pull up the nap of the carpet when I vacuumed. After some quick research, I concluded that the cause is too much soap left in the carpet.

My solution was to rinse the carpets with vinegar to break up the soap residue. However, I have a small machine, it only holds 1 gallon of water. This would take a lot of refills and trips to the sink. There had to be a better way.

After considering my options, I decided a trip to the hardware store was in order. I purchased a 2 gallon weed sprayer, and came home. I assembled it, and had to reassemble it because I don't know how to read directions thoroughly.

I mixed 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water. You cannot use hot water in a weed sprayer, it can damage the pump or even worse, when put under pressure, could explode. So, to be on the safe side, I just used warm water.

I then pumped it up, and sprayed the entire carpet using the fan spray on my sprayer. I didn't want to saturate the carpet, just wet it enough so the vinegar could do it's thing. I waited 10 minutes, then ran a hot water rinse over the carpets with my shampooer. It worked better than running just the shampooer over the carpets! The carpet was starting to fluff up again!

The water that was pulled out of the carpet was a milky tan color, leaving me to believe my assumptions about the soap were correct. When dirt is pulled out, it is a much darker color.


  1. That is the exact same color that I saw when I had my carpet cleaned! I gave up doing it myself because there were a lot of marks and funky smell on the carpet that I just couldn’t get off. Carpet services, on the other hand, have a machine that does great in removing detergents and other residue from carpets.

    Leigh Eagle

  2. It sounds like you had quite a battle with your carpet! But I think you managed to keep everything together and make you carpet look as clean as possible. It is really hard to clean your rug, especially if the dirt seeps deep into the material. It would be best to seek the help of a qualified cleaner to help you with the cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners have special chemicals that they use to make the dirt and stains easier to clean.

  3. Thank you both! Yes, it was quite the battle. Since this is a rental, I am not going to pay for a professional company to come in and clean the carpets. That should be my landlord's responsibility. He told us that he plans on replacing the carpet when we move out. I have a feeling he is the culprit for the soap residue though.


  4. That was amazing, how you were able to clean all the carpets by yourself! I’m sure it was a tough job, but you made your way through everything! How did they smell after you sprayed the vinegar solution? Maybe it would be good to add a good-smelling conditioner into the mix. That should fight off the smell of vinegar.

  5. Hi Jackelyn!
    It was a tough job, and I had to refill my shampooer quite a bit, but it was worth it to know the carpets were clean. The apartment did smell like vinegar, until the carpets were dry. The smell of vinegar does not bother me, but if smell is an issue, 2-3 drops of an essential oil can help diffuse the smell.